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7 Tips for Snowshoeing with Dog - Have a Good Snowshoeing Time with You Dog

Snowshoeing with dog can be a great way to strengthen your bond, but it does take some consideration to enjoy a wonderful experience and keep your dog safe. The article lists the 7 tips for snowshoeing with dog. Don’t miss them.

By Joy | @Joy

Updated on Aug 08, 2019

Snowshoeing is one of a popular, low-impact, aerobic, simple and beginner-friendly outdoor activities that can keep you and your dog active, maintain fitness and improve cardiovascular fitness by burning 600 calories in an hour during the winter. It is a great way to strengthen your bond. Although it is easy to take your dog on a snowshoe trip, it does take some special consideration to ensure that you have a wonderful experience with your dog and keep your dog safe in the snow. Today, we list the 7 important tips for snowshoeing with dog.

 7 Tips for Snowshoeing with Dog 2019

1. Make Sure Your Dog is Healthy and Fit before Snowshoeing with Dog

Making sure your dog is healthy and fit is important for any dog, especially for small dogs as it may be a rigorous or cold outdoor snowy activity that your dog might not be used to. The hearts need to work harder to stay warm and cope with the rigors of breaking a trail through snow, so just imagine how hard it could be for your dog. Therefore, it is quite necessary to make sure your dog is able to walk on snowy trails for long periods of time with your veterinarian. 

>> Also read, 7 Tips for Hiking with a Small Dog

2. Consider Your Dog's Stamina and Plan the Length of Your Trips Accordingly

Walking and running in the snow is a physical task for you and your dog, so when you start snowshoeing with dog, remember to take it slow. In general, traveling in winter is slower and more difficult to control, and also requires more effort, so your dog may tire faster than usual. If both of you are new to winter outdoor activities, consider choosing a trail with fewer miles. We recommend you start your snowshoeing adventure within one to three miles so that your dog can handle it, and then plan to work for longer miles. A good rule of thumb is to halve the average trail length and slowly increase it as your dog gains more experience.  If there is a sign of fatigue or discomfort in your pup, be ready to turn around or take a rest.

 2019 Snowshoeing with Dog

3. Consider the Breed of Your Dog

In some areas, the snow may be so deep that smaller or short-legged dogs can’t walk easily, so you have to plan ahead for some emergencies. Additionally, fatigue and cold may not be a good combination for some brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs and French bulldogs. 

4. Protect Your Dog from the Cold when Snowshoeing with Dog

Your dog has a coat of fur, but he can still catch a cold. Remember to take a coat or jacket for your dog to protect it from prolonged exposing to the cold, or else it will lead to frostbite or hypothermia. Make sure the jacket is made of synthetic material designed to be waterproof and windproof. On very cold days, short-haired breed, like Ruffwear Powderhound, might benefit from an extra layer. Its top half is insulated, while the bottom is a technical elastic fabric that provides a good range of motion. The Powderhound also has sleeves rather than straps to minimize abrasions and prevent its coat from slipping during the adventure.

5. Protect the Claws of Your Dog from Snow and Ice

Would you like going barefoot on a snowy mountain? The answer is absolutely “No”, right?  If your dog does so, your dog’s pads can get frostbite. Before snowshoeing with dog, ensure that the long fur between your dog’s pads is trimmed to prevent ice buildup in extremely cold temperatures and also consider adding some waterproof dog booties to further protect against cold. The booties are also designed to keep your dog breathing. They're usually cheap, but unfortunately they will break down or fall off. Paw wax is another good option to prevent ice from pilling between the toes. If your dog can walk without booties, do not forget to put some protecting balm on dog’s pads before you leave and regularly check their paws for damage during the trip.

 Protect Your Dog from the Cold when Snowshoeing with Dog

6. Pack Enough Food and Water 

Like people, your dog also needs to eat something on the trail to warm its belly and increase its core body temperature. You can bring a thermos from home and fill it with sodium-free and spice-free chicken or beef soup. For some longer or more difficult routes, remember to bring a stove to melt snow for water. Although it means extra weight, you will feel lucky if you're trapped in an unexpected storm.

7. Bring A GPS to Keep Safety

Whether you're venturing nearby or far away, it's best to pack a GPS tracker to navigate and monitor the location in real time and tell your friends or family where you are going and when you plan to go home. Remember to bring a GPS that can work in extremely cold environment as the trails are often covered by snow. GoFindMe is a great option for you and your pet. It can help you monitor your dog for up to 72 hours with one single. You are allowed to set wireless fence for your dog via its app and you will get alerts if your dog is beyond the boundary. This device can work well in any environment, even under the condition of no signal or in an extremely cold situation. It's worth a try.

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 Bottom Line:

After knowing all of these important tips for snowshoeing with dog, you'll have a great and safe experience with your dog in winter. Don’t hesitate to share the guide with more people.

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